So you’ve enjoyed the first-year introduction to the New Testament and you’re thinking maybe it would be fun to do a bit more next year? Great! We’ve put together this guide as a starting point to think about a possible progression through years 2 and 3 of your degree. There is a choice of advanced New Testament papers, the compulsory dissertation, and a variety of options for further study of the biblical languages. We’ll add links to individual papers once the official descriptions become available.
New Testament Papers in Years 2 and 3
- 2103 The Gospels (in Year 2)
- 3102 Paul and Pauline Tradition (in Year 3)
- You may also like to consider one of the advanced Third-Year papers. Detailed topics and prescribed texts for these will be announced no later than the Hilary term of your second year:
- 3109 New Testament Theology
- 3110 Study of a New Testament Book
- 3111 The Afterlife of the New Testament
- 3112 The Old Testament in Early Christianity
The Undergraduate Thesis
Paper 3000 is an important component of the new syllabus: all FHS students will write a 12,000-word undergraduate dissertation, which is due on Monday of Week 9 of Hilary Term in your third year. Although you are relatively free to identify subject in which you would like to write, the post-holders and other Faculty members working in the area would be delighted to advise you on a choice of topic relating to the New Testament. Before you get too far into your second year, do make an appointment with one of us to talk this through and discuss possible supervision.
Biblical Languages in Years 2-3
You may well want to pick up one or both of the major biblical languages, whether or not you have had a chance to do so during your first year. Consider the following opportunities:
- There are optional classes for those wishing to deepen their knowledge of Greek and to tackle the prescribed texts for papers 2103 and 3102 in the original.
- We also expect that there will be opportunities for further study of prescribed texts in Greek associated with one or more of the advanced papers 3109-3112.
- Prelim Hebrew students and others without prior knowledge of Greek are welcome to contact Dr Cressida Ryan (New Testament Greek Instructor) about joining a relevant beginner’s class in their second year, although it will not be possible to offer beginners’ Greek as one of your eight FHS papers. You do nevertheless have the option of going on to attend language classes on the prescribed texts for FHS New Testament papers and to answer gobbets in Greek.
- Prelim Greek students and others without prior knowledge of Hebrew are welcome to contact Dr Steve Herring (Biblical Hebrew Instructor) about joining a relevant beginner’s class in their second year, although it will not be possible to offer beginners’ Hebrew as one of your eight FHS papers. You do nevertheless have the option of going on to attend Hebrew tutorials on the prescribed texts for FHS Old Testament papers (including 2102 (The Poetic World of the Hebrew Bible) and where appropriate the Further Studies in The Hebrew Bible papers (3103-3108)) and to answer gobbets in Hebrew.
- Alternatively or in addition, you may wish to enrol in the extracurricular provision for beginners’ and intermediate Biblical Hebrew offered through the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (see here).
- From time to time it may also be possible to incorporate a Hebrew component in New Testament paper 3112 (The Old Testament in Early Christianity).
Intensive External Courses in Greek and Hebrew
A number of organizations in the UK, North America and Israel offer intensive introductory summer courses in Greek, Hebrew and occasionally other cognate ancient languages. If taught well, these can represent a highly effective introduction that would enable you in a short period to acquire sufficient facility to take more advanced language classes. Please contact one of the relevant language Instructors or post-holders in Biblical Studies for advice.